I worked out that I spent 10 hours out of the house yesterday. For me, that’s a long time. (even if I weren’t pregnant!) Typically, I’ll do the school run and come home, potter about the house and then head back out for the school pick up and head back home again. For once though, I spiced my day up!
It was a feel-good day for me. Since becoming a mum, I often feel like I’ve lost who I was pre-mummy, and everything I do is to benefit the kids – which is absolutely fine, I have no qualms with that. Once in a blue moon though it’s nice to remember who I was before mummy, and yesterday I felt like I’d found the balance between doing what I wanted and be mummy at the same time. I felt like after 3 years of doing the mum business, I’d cracked it!
I’d made plans with two of my friends to meet up for lunch and a bit of shopping. Initially we’d planned to spend the day in Cambridge, but we decided against that which I was kind of glad about, I don’t think I’d have managed all that walking! Before meeting them, I did the school run and headed into town. William had a doctors appointment at 10.30am, so I decided to just hang around town instead of walking home to walk back again. We said hello to daddy at work and chatted to him for a bit, then had a wander around to the opticians where I booked Lily in for her first eye test next week. We then had a play on Bob the Builder’s Truck (which is one of Williams favourite things to do in town these days!) where we bumped into a school mum & had a quick drink with her before heading off to the doctors.
Once we finished at the doctors (who, as usual were running late…) we still had an hour to kill before meeting my friends, so we took a detour to the local park. The weather was beautiful, it was cool enough for a jacket but the sun was shining! A few things at the park were wet but like that would stop a 19 month old…He’d already sat and crawled across the muddiest patch of ground going, what was a bit of damp to add to that?! For a while it was just us there which was bliss. No elbow bashing to get to the top of the slide first or tantrums because there was sharing to be done. It was just wonderful.
When it was time to go, I was fully prepared for a meltdown on Williams behalf, but I mentioned lunch and he was straight out of the gate and on his way! (Amazing how much this kid will do for food.) From there we met my friends and headed off to Wimpy for lunch, yum yum! After lunch, we headed off to Primark, the land of cheap(ish) and cheerful! William was in his element too, we picked up a small basket for him to carry around and used it to put some sunglasses in he was desperate for (which were subtly put back before the check out…) He was desperate to get in the lift to go upstairs, but by the time we had finished perusing the clothes and shoes downstairs, he’d fallen asleep! We went up anyway as I wanted to check out the kids clothes (because I have no self control and have to look.) I ended up buying new PJ’s for William as he suddenly doesn’t fit in any of his anymore, a new pair of jeans for him and a pair of PJ’s for Lily’s birthday next month (I really should start planning that now…)
I think we spent about 2 hours in there altogether, which is the longest I’ve spent in one shop in a long time! We then took a shopping break and grabbed a drink in Starbucks, (I know, living the high life! Sorry Costa.) I definitely needed the sit down, it was about 3pm by now and I’d been up and about since 6.30am! After our coffee break, we headed round to New Look, by this point I was just along for the ride. I was knackered and had nothing to look for in there this time – shopping for you when your due date is imminent isn’t something I’d advise doing. So William and I had fun playing with the mirrors on the walls whilst my friends looked for clothes, which I most definitely didn’t encourage spending lots of money on…much…at least you’re gonna look good! By the time we’d finished in here it was getting on for 5pm, so we finished up and they went to another shop and William & I went to Martins shop and waited for him to finish work at 5.30pm so we could all walk home together.
For most people, this probably just sounds like a normal day out with their friends & child. But it was more than that for me this time. I constantly feel the mum guilt for taking the kids out and doing things like this for me as my attention is divided between their wants/needs throughout the day and also being good company to my friends, but also knowing that the kids will most likely get bored spending a day just wandering around the shops and listening to mummy babble on about everything haha. I also worry that my friends would get frustrated or annoyed with either my lack of full attention, or understand the needs that come with kids. But I think I’ve been working myself up and worrying about all the wrong things. No, my friends don’t have children yet, but they were absolutely brilliant with William yesterday. I honestly didn’t give them enough credit!
Yesterday I got to be me again, still mummy – but me. It was so good to properly see my friends and get out of the house for me. Typically, I’ve found this balance right before Baby #3 is about to arrive and become a whirlwind in our lives (a good one at that!) and the weather is about to change…but I hope to keep this up and bring a bit more of ‘me’ back into my life. So thank you to my friends for remembering I’m still here and make plans with me, and for being so patient and interactive with William. Hopefully we don’t leave it so long next time!
How do you find the balance between being you, and mum?